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Upstreet’s De Novo available in limited release

The Brew
by Bryan Carver

(photo: Bryan Carver)Every summer, Upstreet Craft Brewing celebrates their anniversary by hosting a couple of highly anticipated events; a lively block party to thank and celebrate with their loyal following and the annual limited release of their popular bottle conditioned farmhouse ale, De Novo.

A farmhouse ale can be brewed in many different styles, usually specific to the region in which it is brewed. Upstreet brews their farmhouse ale, a Saison, as a nod to the beers brewed in the Wallonia region of Belgium. Typically a Saison is brewed with a paler malt and a small amount of any available grain (wheat, oats, rye etc.). Saisons tend to finish dry due to a vigorous fermentation with a unique strain of brewing yeast. This yeast produces a variety of phenols, which give the beer a spiced and peppery aroma. Hops play a supporting role to the yeast, providing just enough bitterness to further the dry quality which entices the drinker to have another sip. These beers were brewed to be consumed by farm labourers during the harvest on long, warm autumn days. Usually low in alcohol content, these beers slacked the thirst when bringing in the crops.

In typical Upstreet fashion, De Novo is an amplified version of these “old world” Saisons. They amplified the ale by having an increased alcohol volume of 6%, a Saison yeast and the addition of Brettanomyces to add depth to the aroma and flavour. Brettanomyces is a family of yeasts that can be unruly and unpredictable but when utilized with care they can produce a range of enticing qualities in a beer ranging from tropical fruit aromas to barnyard funk. Unlike regular brewing yeast, they can process a wide variety of sugars but at a much slower pace. With time, each bottle of De Novo will dry out further and create aromas with a funkier depth that are earthier in nature.

De Novo, in its 750ml bottle, is best shared with friends and makes a great addition to any meal. It pairs especially well with bold cheeses and delicious Island oysters. Pick up two or more bottles and enjoy them at least a few months apart in order to fully appreciate how the Brettanomyces influences the qualities of the beer over time.

In limited supply, this bottle conditioned ale is only available at the Upstreet brewery on Allen Street and Craft Beer Corner at Kent and Great George streets, Charlottetown.

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